Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Religious Diversity

This week (the final week of my Philosophy of Religion class) we are discussing Religious Diversity.
This is a quote from one of the slides:
Religious diversity does provide a problem for certain religions, like Christianity. Christianity teaches that Fod is all-loving and all-powerful, and yet he chose to reveal his saving truth by way of a human sacrifice in a remote corner of the Roman empire 2000 years ago, and will forever torture everyone who hasn't heard of this or can't believe it.
Now to me, this seems like a grossly unfair claim. I cannot think of a single mainstream Christian denomination holds that God will "forever torture everyone who hasn't heard of this or can't believe it." Indeed, the true Christian denomination - namely Catholicism - does not hold that at all.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that:
"Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery."63 Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.
The foot note [63] says GS 22 § 5; cf. LG 16; AG 7.

 Moreover, "[w]hosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved." (Lumen Gentium 14) This implies that unless you know, epistemologically speaking, "that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ" you can be saved outside the Church. 
Does that mean that we should reject the Chruch? Absolutely not! If you actively seek truth, the Truth, you will come to know that Christ founded the Catholic Church is that it is necessary for salvation and the only sure means thereof. 

The limitless loving devotion to God, and the gift God makes of Himself to you, are the highest elevation of which the heart is capable; it is the highest degree of prayer. The souls that have reached this point are truly the heart of the Church. - Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross


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